Aberdeen graduate returns to “the best library” to give talk on her success in publishing

Aberdeen Grammar alumna and Aberdeen University graduate Kate Macdonald is to return to her favourite library to give a talk about publishing.

Featured in the Press & Journal in 1980 as a finalist in the Scottish Youth Theatre play-writing competition – in which she beat Ali Smith – Kate is now the director of her own publishing company Handheld Press. She’s dropping in on Aberdeen Central Library on Wednesday 17 July to give a talk on ‘How Publishing Works’. She’ll be repeating the talk at Shetland Library in the following week.

Kate said: ‘Aberdeen Central Library was my favourite place to be on a weekday evening when I was at school. I went through books very fast and was up at the library two or three time a week, exploring the shelves and finding new authors. The library was foundational for my reading, so I am so pleased to be able to give something back with this free talk.

“I’ve worked in editing and telling people about stories all my working life, and I’ve worked on both sides of the publishing divide, as an author and as a publisher. The talk will be about how publishing works from the author’s perspective, as well as the publisher. So, if you’ve got a book that you’d like to send to a publisher, or if you’re interested in learning how publishing works as a business, come and ask questions”.

Kate wrote her PhD on John Buchan, trained as an archaeology editor in the civil service, and has taught British literature and cultural studies at many European universities. She and her husband David Marsh set up Handheld Press in 2017 to publish forgotten classics, modern fiction by living authors, and biographies and letters. Their smash hit to date has been Rose Macaulay’s 1918 dystopia What Not, now in its second reprint, and they also publish John Buchan, and the Scottish fairy stories of Sylvia Townsend Warner. Audience members will be able to browse their bookstall after the talk.

Aberdeen City Council cultural spokeswoman, Councillor Marie Boulton, said: “It’s fantastic that Kate is coming back to one of her favourite places in Aberdeen and one that helped inspire her to such great success in publishing.

“We know from our cultural programmes such as Creative Funding that Aberdeen is just bursting with emergent talent and I’m sure Kate’s advice will be invaluable for aspiring writers in the audience.”

Handheld Press is based in Bath, and its website is www.handheldpress.co.uk. Its books are available at all good and useful bookshops.

Kate’s talk will be at Aberdeen Central Library on Wednesday 17 July at 6pm.

To book a place at this free event, call 01224 652500 or email LibraryEvents@aberdeencity.gov.uk.

For more information, please contact the Central Library on 01224 652500.